Thursday, July 16, 2020

6:43:29 AM

After work yesterday, I drove Nathan’s recently-purchased Mercury to the DPS office in Grand Prairie and found that it takes almost 20 minutes to get there.

I had a fitful night with a dreadful feeling about carrying mama down there and what she could possibly suffer. I insisted on giving this over to God according to the Bible’s instructions to cast our cares unto the Lord; nevertheless, my mind and soul insisted on feeling miserable about this. I kept rehearsing the visit to the DPS center in my mind, trying to anticipate and pre-solve any problems we may encounter. This practice if futile, for obvious reasons: I cannot predict what we will encounter, ergo, I cannot smooth out the process any more than I already have done by preparing for it to the best of my knowledge and ability.


Now, let me tell you what really happened. It was wonderful, although not fully satisfying.

Mama came out of her room at 8:30, ready to go. ‘Mama,’ I said, ‘the appointment is for 10:00.’ She went back to her room to take a short nap. Meanwhile, I got fed up with the anxiety that had been tormenting me, off and on, about this problem, and decided to get rid of it once for all. I stood in the living room and declared with my mouth that I was, at that moment, casting all of that care unto the Lord, as his faithful servants have instructed us to do. I asked God to grant us favor, marvelous favor, favor with both God and man. Then, I closed my prayer with thanksgiving, both with my understanding and with my spirit.

We arrived at the DPS on Bagdad Road in Grand Prairie a few minutes after 10:00. Mama sat in the car with the engine and the AC running, parked parallel to the curb at the front entrance, while I approached the nurse and the officer on duty to control access to the building. ‘I have an appointment for Betty Whitehead. We need a wheelchair brought out for her.’

I was appalled to hear that there was no wheelchair available. ‘That was a stipulation when I made the reservation. The management owed it to me to guarantee a wheelchair. This is an 86-year-old lady with no bladder control and who loses bowel control occasionally, and is in constant pain. This is unacceptable.’

I showed the reservation confirmation the nurse on duty at the door, and she helped me get it updated. A new reservation number came up on the screen. Meanwhile, a lady named Carie came out to talk to me. ‘I can process her application and take her picture while she sits in the car,’ she said. I was delighted! ‘God will reward you for that!’ I crowed.

I moved the car to the parking area and explained to mama the special accommodations they were granting us. She started working on a crossword puzzle and relaxed in the AC.

Carie came back, collected our paperwork, checked over mama’s application, made a tiny correction, and informed me that we still need her marriage certificate. ‘The increase in identity theft has made the increase in security necessary,’ she said.

‘Valerie Lewis told me that Betty’s recently-expired license is sufficient in place of that. Do you know Valerie?’

Yes, she did know Valerie. ‘That was a misunderstanding,’ she added. ‘The marriage certificate is one of the few documents that the state will accept as an explanation for the change in her last name from the one on her birth certificate.’

‘I’ll get it,’ I said. ‘I takes about a month. Meanwhile, can you please retain our documentation and keep our file open until I can bring the certificate to you?’ She said she will be glad to do that. ‘It will take about a month,’ I repeated.

She carried out documents back inside again, photographed all of them, and came back to get a picture of mama. ‘Can you stand up?’ she asked. Mama affirmed that she could, albeit with great pain and trouble. An officer came along with Carie, and he and I held up the blue tarp to provide a background for the photo while mama stood just outside the passenger door, hanging onto the open door for support.

‘When you come back, Betty has to be with you because we need her signature on the final form that we promulgate to get her new ID made.’

Mama and I went back home with joy and gratitude in our hearts.


Today (Friday), I called the number I found on the PDF application to get a copy of mama’s marriage certificate and ordered it that way instead of either mailing in the application of faxing it. The lady who took my order was most pleasant to talk to, and she told me I could have it sent to me via normal ground mail that requires not signature. I asked for two copies. This service, called VitalCheck, is not offered directly from Michigan’s record keeping offices but rather are a contracted service that I have found on the internet in the past. They are super cheap and super-efficient. In fact, I think this may be the same service I used to get copies of mama’s birth certificate, too, instead of going directly to the state’s web site.